Baena to Castro Del Río 

Not a good start to today. I was a little irritable to begin with and then it got worse, our first bar had no bread yet so we had just coffee and water. Let me go further back in time.
Night in Baena

An interesting place. Not one on my list of places I must revisit but, interesting and occupied forever. The Moores were relative newcomers in their time from the 8th to roughly the 12th centuries.  

The castle must have once been big and impressive. I love the bend in the church tower. Let’s hope here remains earthquake free!

People come out as the sun goes, lots of interactions, not fraught, as in one of our cities but slow pace ones. Remember, it’s still very much daylight at 20:00 here at present.

Baena albergue

Anyhow, the practise run for us all being together in the albergue started at about 17:30 last night. 

I think all 5 guys, the 4 Spanish friends and Benedo, passed out. They did, if you assume only sleepers snore. Honestly, the man near my head was impressive. I’ve heard a few snorers in my time but he wins. 

Why didn’t I change the end for my pillow? I had B on the ground on a mattress at my feet as he couldn’t have climbed onto the top bunk. And the world’s (possibly) supreme snorer with his head near mine. HE was the one who could have changed but he didn’t. Don’t forget Benedo snores too but I can cope with his more consistent style. Maybe I should have turned around. 

A night from hell

There are some partners in Madrid who have to be so very happy their men are away. The snoring was truly what you might expect from some very large pigs. I’m not sharing with these guys again tonight or ever. Couldn’t bear it. Ever. Honestly. 

No, it was nothing to do with paunches bulging over jocks or their loudness. Easy to cope with. 

The snoring was just impossible, even with an earpiece jammed in sleep was a lost cause. 5 straight minutes of quiet and sleep might have been possible but no. Not even 5’ of quiet in which to pass out. Truly horrible. I made noises at my neighbour. Someone said something about sleeping but I didn’t understand what he said so don’t know if it was to his friend or me. I’ve heard snorers before but not like this. 

And life is too short to put up with it ever again. Happens to us all and yes, I’ve been the offender before. 😏

Morning

Hmmm. As you know, the morning started with with me grumpy. And when we found the closest bar it still had no bread to toast so the omens for the day looked pretty bad. 

Two coffees and glasses of water later it picked up. What a bonus when we found an open bar with toast, just up the street. No tomato but it had jamón. So, more coffee, water and some toast and jamon. Two, or was it 3 more bars up our street were open by now. 

Sating our food and coffee needs made for a much better outlook for me. A shorter day ahead, only 20km from Baena to Castro Del Río. 

The best thing today was realising I understood a lot more of what Benedo was saying. At times I had great difficulties and asked him to repeat bits. Sometimes I gave up and did a ‘just think of England’. But less often now. His problem with certain important Spanish sounds makes it harder in some ways but, does me lots of good. And, he is patient. Sometimes he knows when I don’t understand and sometimes I can see he just suspects 😏.

Benedo is a very nice man. We walk at the same pace and he talks more than me. So it works well. Oh, and did I mention he is very sociable and chats up everyone. I noticed the 4 snorers didn’t seem that keen on him. Rated them for me very quickly. Only one more town we could end up with them. Trust me, we won’t! 

The sorts of things Benedo and I talked about today range from the weightings of specific words in Spanish, divorce, Catalonia and its issues, Roman history, olive growing and many other topics. He clearly enjoys chatting and doesn’t seem to mind telling me things again. Probably a bit like having a pet something that you still hold some hopes it will eventually learn something. 😸

Walk today

Olive groves. And more of them.


We started with coffee and food, loved the early light, and then wore out a bit. Not because of the distance (or my blisters). No, it was hot and with no intermediate town for a break. 

Saw lots of granadas growing. I forget their english name as I’ve really largely seen them here.

Tomorrow will be further, about 25km, and we will have a town not long before half way. That will make it easier. Possibly, as it may be uphill to a castle. 

Castro del Rio

The site of an old Roman fort on the river, and who knows what before, is a classical white town in the older section. Narrow streets, 2 or 3 story houses with all the windows and inner doors shut against the 40+ heat of today. If you believe a local thermometer. 

And more of the plastic bottles filled with water on either sides of a doorway. I do not believe that would stop my beloved 🐕 peeing. No, no empirical data but I’d be surprised. 

The main industry relates to olives: growing, planting and harvesting them. 


There is a castle on a hill in Castro Del Río. Another? You say. Yes, this place was important at times over the millenia. Embarrassing but, I walked many streets trying to find the top. Found the church up there but, um, hmmm…. 

Tomorrow: second last day before Córdoba. I had a prior booking there. Looked to change the bed to 2 but it wasn’t possible so Benedo’ll stay in an albergue for 2 nights. Manolo is coming in late on the Thursday, ready to start on Friday. 

My feet will enjoy the rest as I wander to the places in Córdoba I really like. 

2 thoughts on “Baena to Castro Del Río 

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